If Tears Were Race Horses

If I release tears like race horses

which one will fall into the lead?

 

The gate opens and they’re off!

Anger gets out at the jump,

with Dissappointment a nose back.

Loneliness makes a run for third,

edged out by Rejection.

Grief settles in between

Laughter and Loss,

While Joy brings up the rear.

The track of the tears

comes alive as dirt and dust

rise in and behind the pack.

They are neck in neck,

cheek to cheek

as the backstretch looms.

It’s any horse’s race but

Joy is on the move,

but not on the outside.

Joy is moving through

the thick of it, jockeying,

bumping bellies,

smelling sweat,

listening as the hoofs

displace earth while

muzzles move air.

The movement is hidden

within at first, but down

the wire Joy overcomes

by two lengths.

 

Longing For an Ambush

In the corner looking out

beyond the sharp edge of light

there is a darkness waiting to

dilate my senses and sensibilities.

 

For it was out of the utter black

a word of brightness spoke.

Help me not be afraid

of the basement steps.

 

The creaking undertones

splaying the anticipation of ambush.

The longing for a surprise attack

that cuts to the spiritual core

 

of what was behind and before,

with room enough for the I Am.

A fear and afraid melded

into the corner of where I was.

Twelve Minutes on Hope

Hey, I found that “Hope” chapter, because I found my beat up copy of Mere Christianity while cleaning my disaster of an office.

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity on Hope.

Desire, emotions, and feeling things have been suspect of late. I doubt my feelings and pin my desires behind my back as it were, wondering if they will betray me. I put hope in that category too. Hope isn’t an emotion, but it can keep emotions somewhat awake, don’t you think?

This world, in some respects, is a mirage…emotions too, are like steam rising off the pavement after a brief hot summer day. Our culture seems to be mood dependent. Well, if I really soak myself in the cultural abyss, (oh, so dramatic!) it’s more like the Moody Blues.

I guess that’s when faith, HOPE, and love enter, and move us beyond mood dependency.

Times up. Thoughts?

Looking for Hope? Twelve minute writing.

Twelve minute run of the brain. I can’t find my copy of Mere Christianity. I wanted to read the chapter on hope. I have no hope of finding it in the next few minutes.

Often my hope is off somewhere sulking. Sometimes it is playing hide and seek. There are times when it is translucent as if I can see right through it to the hopeless state of things. An Eeyore moment has me saying short whining sentences, or answering a “How are you?” greeting with an answer like an essay question on a High School history exam.

So, now I have five minutes left to write about hope.

What I do know is everyone lives a thicker life with hope in the wings. Hope cheers us on to the next thing. Hope leads. Hope gently takes our hand. Hope see the possibilities.

I’m not a natural “hoper.” So when things get rough, or complicated, or senseless, I first sit in the mud, as it were, pointing at all the fractures.

My time is up. It’s 9:00 a.m. I found hope, it was in my breast pocket.

How is your relationship with hope these days?

Bullet Points

  • Bullet Points
  • Entry wounds
  • Exit wounds
  • Mooring snapped
  • Mourning wrapped
  • Blood flows
  • Anger grows
  • Boughs break
  • Hearts ache
  • Coherence fades
  • Frustration jades
  • Chambers dressed
  • Triggers pressed
  • Round after round
  • Sound after sound
  • Good or bad
  • Bad or good
  • Misunderstood
  • Misunderstood
  • On our knees
  • Begging please
  • Don’t shoot
  • Don’t shoot
  • Hands behind backs
  • Hands in our laps
  • See us care
  • Hear our prayer
  • In God we trust
  • We must we must
  • Or bullet points
  • Or bullet points…

Sunday Psalm

Could this be the end of reason?

Is the gun mightier than the sword?

Are discussions usurped by

polarized rigidity?

Shoot now, talk later.

Oh reason, have you aged out

of the system?

Why are we now reverting to loop-wholes

and holes through the body?

Where are the talking heads taking us?

Why do we know so much so quickly

that we don’t chew, but swallow

as fast as we can with lukewarm milk.

Come, let us reason together

when we can

where we can.

No one can fashion swords into

ploughshares in a day.

Let us exercise, pure and undefiled,

and exorcise our rights against humanity.

Lord God Almighty, revive hope.

Prayer About What’s Bugging Me

Look what the locusts have eaten

with their bellies distended and all.

I pray for anorexia nervosa

on the whole lot of them.

May their regiments

hold fast to a fast.

May they retreat from treats.

May their locus lose its control.

Lord, command them to cease and

desist as I turn to You.

Amen.

Why Two Days Changed My Fussbudgetness.

Lucy, from the comic strip Peanuts, was often referred to as a fussbudget. Over the past few years I have become a fussbudget, my heart traipsing around the landscape of complaint, unbelief, and fear. Recently I described it to someone as brooding. I can’t seem to nail down a solid description of my state of mind. Needless to say, my silent grump grump aint helpful to those in my proximity.

Then two days, one right after the other, a couple of weeks ago, shook me out of my inward sourpuss self. May 17th two of my children decided to take a giant leap…out of an airplane. Be honest, what do you think of first when skydiving come to mind? Exactly. What if the chute doesn’t open? I don’t see this thought as pessimistic, but realistic. Planes have wings to keep humans up there in the wild blue yonder, unless some zealot or deranged person uses one as a missile of mass human destruction. My son and daughter fell to earth with hardly a thud, safe, exhilarated, and the determination to do it all over again. (They’re adults, what can I do? I know what I can do… Give them an Applebee’s gift card for their birthday next year. Yes, they jumped on our dime right into their bucket list.)

The next day my longboarding (i.e. big skateboard for riding hills, not do stunts) daughter took two of her brothers to surf a local neighborhood. She was merely 3 to 4 inches off the ground and fell to earth with a thud. She dropped and rolled, but in the dropping she sustained quite a blow to the basil part of her skull. 911 was dialed, and an hour or so later she was in a medically induced coma for a closed head injury. She had a basil fracture, broken cheek bone, but no other broken bones. There was hardly a scratch on her otherwise. Barbara and I were beside ourselves with concern as the first twenty four to thirty six hours were a roller coaster of emotions and worry as the doctors came and left with assessments.

I said short prayers to God.

Not today. No funeral today God. Help!

            Other people said the longer prayers. Lots of people said the longer prayers. Our entire family is grateful for the longer prayers, and all sorts of other support through this reality. Today our daughter is in a state of the art rehab facility called Mary Free Bed in Grand Rapids Michigan. Today she is. Today she is the same captivating daughter after her chute didn’t open on that hill. Today she is a self-proclaimed “safety nerd” as she deeply regrets not wearing a helmet. She is not finished healing, but is coming along much faster than predicted.

Thank God.

That is the reason I am writing about these two days. This is why I confess to the world and God my own fractures. Just because we are human, we flake out sometimes. Come on, admit it. God went looking for Adam and Eve in their nakedness. Why would God not look for us? I know this opens up the Pandora’s Box of why many things don’t make sense, all the way from 9/11 to a weak baby chick not surviving. I, for one, need to hop off my little private, arrogant self, and admit I have a lot less control than I thought.

Today, I thank God for those who continue to hold us through prayer, presence, and embraces. Life is mysterious. God is mysterious. So, if you find yourself in a fussbudget frame of mind, that’s okay, no judgement here, but consider the possibility of coming out from hiding. God is looking for you, along with some human humans.

Prayer:

God, thank you for all the loving people in my life. You show up when they show up, whether I admit it or not. Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. Amen.

 

Seeds in the cracks
and the finches make a point, their point
is to poke and pick with sudden thrusts.

The sun leapt over the eastern rim
and the chatter of birds is abbreviating
like the shadows along the row of blue spruce.

Light lifts its head and warms the dew.
Diamonds on the grass cut into me
and melt between my toes.

Like a bird, I bend close and hop
on the morning sea of green
and pick at the cracks.

I pray for seeds
and then for wings.